“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. Its not.”–Dr. Seuss
Last week we went to see The Lorax and this quote was at the end of the movie. I think it was a sign that this food blogging thing of mine has a greater purpose.
You see, the following day I went to my first School Health Advisory Council (S.H.A.C) meeting for our school district. I was so looking forward to it and I was not disappointed. The council, which is required in every school district in Texas and many other states, is made up of parents, community members and school district employees. But the majority of the members should be parents. There were only a handful of us but the good news is when I introduced myself and my reason for wanting to be there, the members welcomed me with open arms! They said that changing school food was something they’d like to focus on but in the past hadn’t had many members who knew a lot about where to start. The district’s food service director was also there so I’m hoping we can work together (and that I can recruit a few more parents to join our efforts!)
I first heard about the S.H.A.C. on The Lunch Tray blog whose owner, Bettina, primarily focuses on kids and food, in school and out and keeps us updated on all things school food. The S.H.A.C.’s purpose is to focus on issues that relate to the whole health of the students including physical, mental and nutritional. They are charged with a big job! At this particular meeting the focus was on some preventative mental health issues and follow up to sex education curriculum that had been discussed at a previous meeting, both topics needing attention.
Want to start a S.H.A.C. in your community or just get more information on what it does? Check out this link from the Let’s Move campaign for tips on how to do so.
I haven’t really posted much on my blog about my involvement and interest in changing school food. There’s so much to be done and I feel like I’m still in the beginning learning stages. But over the last year, I’ve spoken to our school district’s food services director a few times and he was very nice, answered all my questions and was generally very informative. I feel like I can’t sit back and wait for other people to do the work for me. I’ve read far too many critics on the blogosphere who criticize all that is wrong with the way we eat but I know very little about what they are DOING to make a change. Stop talking and start doing is what I say.
And here’s the thing. You can be part of the changes you want to see too. Call your school district. See if you can join the S.H.A.C. for your district. Ours only meets four times a year for two hours. Certainly it’s worth it for eight hours of your time each year, right? Of course, there are sub-committees that do more work than that but at least you’ll be making a step in the right direction. Maybe your work schedule does not allow you to be a part of your S.H.A.C. Then think of a friend, neighbor or family member that might be interested and point them in the right direction.
Because like Dr. Suess said, “unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. Its not.”